JUST because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you.

And now, in fact, we know that they definitely are after you. Yes you, sitting there on your beige-coloured sofa, reading this newspaper while eating Crunchy Nut Cornflakes for breakfast and wearing a blue shirt.

The US government, it has been revealed, is "after" pretty much all of us by spying on a load of stuff we do online.

So this week's handy cut-out-and-keep guide explains how to protect your privacy from the US government.

Here are my tips: 1. Unplug your computer from the internet. It might seem a bit drastic, but this is by far the most effective and surest way of knowing that you're not being spied on.

Be honest with yourself - would you really miss it? I think you can live without a few pictures of cats, regular updates about what a "fab weekend" your Facebook friends had and a video of a panda sneezing. Because that's basically what the internet is now.

Go outside and do something more productive instead. Run, laughing, through a knee-high meadow. Ruffle your hands through the hair of a small child. Build a raft. Help an old lady across the road. Smell some roses. You get the point.

You might even revitalise our dying town centres if you're forced to actually go to a shop to buy something. Of course, this will mean fighting your way through the hordes of shambling undead in Primark, but this is a small price to pay.

2. Don't use anything run by Apple, Google, Microsoft or Facebook. As that pretty much includes everything these days, I refer you to point number one.

3. Don't be a terrorist. Pretty easy, this one... most people shouldn't struggle with it. I'm assuming here (against my better journalistic judgement - I was always taught never to assume anything) that the US government's primary aim with this colossal spying operation is to catch terrorists.

Having said that - who really knows? As, we are led to believe, it is a huge, sweeping, all-encompassing and secret spying operation with no democratic mandate or oversight, then it could be used for pretty much anything. So forget point number three. It's pointless.

4. Wear a tinfoil hat. That will definitely prevent spies from intercepting your brainwaves using WiFi. I think that's possible. Not sure what type of encryption your brain uses, but the foil will almost certainly make it totally safe.

And thus concludes my guide. Feel a bit cheated? Well, tough. There's nothing you can do about it, except write a strongly-worded letter of complaint with key words underlined in green biro.

If you're feeling really bad, then spare a thought for Edward Snowden, who revealed all this, and is now wanted - for spying. Americans never did understand the concept of irony, did they?